The man behind the block

Henry Block in action during class.

Sam Smith

Henry Block in action during class.

Rachel Hunt, Reporter, Photographer

As long as he could remember, Henry Block wanted to become a large traffic guide in the middle of NC’s malfunction junction. As a tiny freshman he pushed his way through towering upper classmen. He needed a sense of belonging somewhere in the big school.  

When Principal Bucky Horton approached him at the end of freshman year offering Block the honor of the traffic guide in malfunction junction, he jumped at the opportunity. His lifelong dream had finally come true, and although he must undergo tons of training, he knew he could do it. Horton explained the harrowing responsibility of standing in the middle of malfunction junction directing traffic as scary, but necessary.

“You will be serving our school, son. It’s not an easy job, but it’s a great achievement and the most incredible award I can bestow upon a student in school,” principal Bucky Horton said to Block.

Horton sent Block to a summer camp in Idris, Maryland to learn the ropes of traffic director in a six week intensive learning program; there, he learned everything from how to handle the kids pushing to deflecting trash thrown at him. Block felt the camp changed his life and gave him a purpose.

“Mr. Horton gave me an amazing opportunity. The camp he sent me to over the summer provided me the best training possible and I knew that I was prepared for whatever came at me. The first day of school that year couldn’t come fast enough,” Block said.

On the first day of school, Block stood in the middle of malfunction and directed traffic. The first few weeks kids did not know what to do, so Block taught them. The roundabout in malfunction now works with pristine efficiency and Horton calls Block the “most valuable” addition to the school. The teachers and staff agree, including AP US History teacher Tamera Rankenburg.

“Ever since Henry began working in malfunction there was an immediate improvement. I no longer have to tell kids to stop pushing each other and they just move through without any hiccups. It’s so nice to see the students respect Henry and I think the kids even consider him a friend”, Rankenburg said.

The students at NC appreciate Block and make sure to say hello every time they walk by. Some students like to playfully mess around and throw trash at Block to see how fast he can shoot it back at them. The students and Block even participate in a bet that if they get trash in his box they can sign the box, so now every student attempts it.

Block wants to eventually become a member of the TDPA (Traffic Director’s Professional Association) and work in countries across the world. Block’s potential advancement to a school in London next year means that NC will soon look for his replacement.  

April Fool’s, you fool!

XOXO, The Chant